Here we go!

Month: April, 2013

Pussy and Public Holiday



Alliance Pussy says hello!

Orange-men also say hello!





Ok, it’s a public holiday tomorrow (May 1st, labour day).  Most people have gone camping at Hienghene, but I did not want to go because I preferred to sleep in a container, than a tent, on a bed with sheets instead of in a sleeping bag on a mat, and to have regular showers, and a nice toilet to use, and air conditioning, internet connection, all that!  However, as most people won’t be here tomorrow, I won’t have anything to do (even all the buddies I played computer games with on Sunday, have gone camping!).  I wished that I could go to work, but we are banned from working unless critical to operations.  I heard that last year, people were chased out of the offices!

Yesterday, I received an email regarding Edmund’s cup going missing.  I received the same email three times from different people.  I contacted Edmund to let him know that I haven’t seen his cup, and he was nice and replied that his cup has been found three hours after the original email was sent (more than a month ago!).  I was interested in the email propagation – how it had started through a common trail, and then split apart, before all converging back together to reach me on the same day!  Out of interest, I mapped distribution.

On Monday night, my hot water wasn’t working, so I had a cold shower.  Then on Tuesday morning again, a cold shower.  I wanted to put in a maintenance request but thought I’d check the breaker first.  It had tripped! So I turned it back on and had a nice warm shower for Tuesday night!


[5-3] Sunday-Lan!

This morning at 2:37am, I was awakened by my phone ringing.  Someone started speaking to me in French, I asked if he could speak English, then he told me to wait, hung up, and called back.  The person who called me back, said that he was from the night shift scaffolding crew and asked if he could scaffold in a particular area.  I told him that I was not the chef, and probably not the right person to ask (as I did not know what was happening around that area at the time).  I had trouble going back to sleep after this.

Got up for breakfast, it was a grey and drizzly morning.  No one at breakfast had solid plans for the day, but everyone was instead asking each other what they were doing.  I decided to spend the day in, and not go out.  Around 9:15am, everyone had already left the canteen, and only Jacobus, Mitchell, Daniel and I were left.  So we decided to have a lan-party.

Went back to our rooms to get our laptops, then met at the bar.  However, was met with bad news: there was no power!  We checked all available power points and was told that the lady who was in charge of the bar who could turn the power on, wouldn’t be there until 4pm!

Managed to find a good room, with power, then we set up!


Set up, and played until lunch.  At lunch, had icecream Smile

After lunch, we played Warcraft III, tower defence, DOTA, until dinner time, then had dinner.



It was a good day in!  Back to work tomorrow, 2 weeks to go!

Wednesday is a public holiday here!


I searched up the gum I’ve been eating and found out that it’s for people with dentures, because it doesn’t stick to dental work.


On Tuesday night, instead of going to French class, I went to Ray’s room and we looked at photographs from his Japan trip (and ate chocolate!).20130423_190141

Long morning shadow


Coloured sunset.  This carpark is now an office block!


On Friday it was safety day, so I was drug tested and shown to be clean.


We had ribs at the Chinese canteen for lunch.


Then went out for pizza at night.


Figuring out what it is.





After dinner mints on the counter.


Melvin gave me mangoes from the Philippines!


This morning I went up to elevation 122m to bring some equipment up.  While waiting up there, I took some photographs.






There was a watertruck having a nap.  We saw it in the morning, and they were still trying to wake it up at lunch.



After work, I went to the canteen, but was too early, so watched a band practicing.  They were good, and all without shirts.  The drummer was very muscular!


Then I went to dinner, they had an American theme.20130427_181502

Chips, ribs, chicken wings, donuts, icecream.



[5-2] Sunday at Poindimie!

I opened the car door and saw a puddle of water on the floor mat – no idea how that got there! Possibly from water ingress from where the beacon cable comes in.  But it made the inside of the car smell sour like salami.  I have not driven the car since our trip to Koniambo Hotel on Wednesday two weeks ago.  And there were ANTS!  I emptied the water from the mat, and then Andrew, Duncan, and Gala got in the car, and we went to Kone first, to get some supplies (I wanted to get some bug spray to get rid of the ants).  I drove.

Then we proceeded to go to Poindimie (on the East Coast), the weather today looked grey and raining, I had to drive very carefully.

On the way, when the weather cleared a little, we stopped at picnic area.



We finally arrived in Poindimie, at the Tieti Tera Beach Resort.

We sat inside for a little while.  It looked really nice inside, everything made of wood.

R0013734R0013732Then we moved outside and had some cocktails (Thanks Duncan!).


Then we had lunch.R0013752

I was so full, but still managed to have dessert.


By then, I was mega-full.  So we relaxed around the pool.  I listened to music on my Ipod (thanks Melvin!), while surfing the net using wifi.  Later, we started streaming some Australian radio.



We left around 4:30pm, filled petrol at Kone, and got back to camp around 6:30pm.

Here’s some other photos from today, with the Summitar f=5cm at f/2.


April 5th–Hana and Charles

Seoul, April 5th 2013 – We met with Hana and Charles.  In early 2011, Hana stayed at my apartment for a few weeks before she left Perth.  I did not see her since then.  It was my first time meeting her husband Charles – though I have said hello to him on Skype before!

Julie and I went to Changdeokgung Palace to get some tickets.




Then we walked to Insadong, where we met with Hana and Charles.


We went looking for food, got in a taxi, who started bringing us on a ride (and not knowing where he, or we, were going).  So we got out and walked.  Then got into another taxi, and went to a nice restaurant for lunch.



Then we made our way back to the palace.


We were excited to see some flowers blooming.


and I ran up the hill.


Saw some painted walls.


Then we went for the tour, first, it was to the secret garden.  The tour guide told us that there’s no secret to it.  It’s only “secret” because it was for the king and his family, so outsiders couldn’t see.  Or something like that.







You must visit!

Then we went to a cafe (“A Twosome Place”) for some cake and drinks.


Then Julie and I went to Chungmuro to get my film developed.  It was Friday 5pm, and the shop I used to go to, weren’t going to be open on Sunday (I leave Monday), so we found another shop that could do it one hour (develop, scan and print).  We dropped off the film at the shop and then walked to Myeongdong.

When we got there, we saw a panda handing out flyers, and on the flyer, it was advertising a free take-away! So Julie and I went down to the restaurant and ordered!


Really! Free! Thank you Ho Lee Chow!  We found a place to sit down and eat it.  It was a generous serving and was yummy!


Then we walked back through Myeongdong, and saw another free offer!  Free bread roll and pen from Outback, if you point them to where their shop was!



It was almost time to pick up our photographs, so we started walking back to Chungmuro. 


When we got to the shop, the man at the shop had only printed one roll out of three.  He let us sit down and look through it while he did the other two rolls.  It wasn’t cheap, so Julie told me that I should get a digital camera… and so I started thinking about a Leica M typ 240.

We walked backed to Myeongdong and looked around.



Then we walked to Namdaemun Market to try to find a cheap bag I could use to check-in for my flight back to New Caledonia.IMG_9767

Couldn’t find a good one, so walked back to Myeongdong.  Stopped by a small shop with a really friendly old couple in there who showed us different bags.  In the end, we bought a cheap bag from them.  Then started to make our way home.


Busy Myeongdong at night:



[5-2] Hiccups

I had hiccups last week, and this week as well.

This time, it started on Thursday evening.  It’s now Saturday night and still irritating me.

On Friday, I went to the imfirmerie for some help.  It was my first time in the infirmerie.  There were free candy in the waiting room.


Doctor gave me some medication.  As soon as he told me that he’ll give me some medication, my hiccups stopped.  I was given three different kinds of tablets. 


Then I went to the Chinese canteen for lunch, and when I left, the hiccups started again.

My hiccups stopped on Friday night when I went to sleep, and did not start again when I woke up, so I did not eat more medicine.  However, after breakfast, the hiccups came back.  After lunch, I came back to my room to get my medicines.  The hiccups have been on and off (mostly on), They usually stop before a meal, and come back a little while after the meal.

It rained so heavily on Wednesday night, it sounded like rocks were hitting the roof.  The next day, there were big puddles everywhere.20130418_104854

I dropped my scissors on Thursday night.


Safety guy hiding in the bushes (to catch people for speeding or not stopping at the stop sign).


Tonight, left work after 7pm, and a bus finally came at 7:30pm.  There was a surprised at the canteen – BBQ.  Nice dinner, and an icecream voucher.  I went to the bar, and it was like Christmas/New Year party again!  Beer, icecream, smoke, flashing lights, music, and lots of people (but only one guy dancing, apart from the two dancer-girls).


[5-1] 5th swing, 1st week

Not quite the end of the first week, since I only got back here on Tuesday, but it’s the end of the first working week back.  Today was Sunday, and I didn’t do much.

I woke up at 8am, only because the kitchen closes at 8:30, and I didn’t want to miss breakfast, otherwise I would have slept more.

After breakfast, I came back to my room, surfed the net, blogged about my R&R in Seoul, and went back to sleep.  I woke up just before lunch time, and got up to have lunch.  At lunch, I had 2 scoops of icecream. Smile

After lunch, I came back to my room, surfed the net, blogged about my R&R in Seoul, and went back to sleep.  I woke up just before dinner time, surfed the net, and then went to have my dinner.  At dinner, I had 2 scoops of icecream! Smile

I feel well rested after trying to readjust back into the work routine.

On Wednesday night, we had a barbeque at Koniambo hotel.  It was a quiet evening, the food looked good (although not cooked well-done), but had an enjoyable time.  Eric gave a speech, then Benoit gave a speech – it’s entertaining listening to him talk.R0013638R0013648R0013641


As I didn’t drink, I drove us back.  The roads here aren’t too good, with big holes in the road.  It was fun in the car, my co-owners love singing together.

It was a long journey back from Seoul.  I left the house at 7am to the bus terminal, and the bus left the terminal at 7:30am.  Got to the airport around 8:30am, and checked in.  It was very quick to check in as there was no queue.  After going through customs and claiming the duty back on my shoes, I went to the toilet, then headed to my gate.  There was a still a bit of time, so I bought a bun a Paris Baguette and ate it on the way to boarding the plane.  The plane wasn’t full this time, so I had 2 seats to myself.  I watched 4 movies back to back.  The new James Bond movie “Skyfall”, Japanese comedy “Thermae Romae” (which I’ve been wanting to watch since my previous visit to Japan in June/July 2012), a Korean drama “Meet the Inlaws”, and a comedy “Here comes the Boom”.  Then I had a nap.


The plane trip was very comfortable, and the food was good (for plane food!).  I was even handed a pack of kimchi!




The plane landed around 10pm (roughly 9.5 hour flight), I got through customs and immigration quickly and then caught the shuttle to the Tontoutel.  First time staying at this airport.  I asked the reception how I would know when the bus comes, and she said that they would call me and I wait at the reception.  I was given a room which had three beds inside.  It wasn’t very comfortable and there was no light in the bathroom.  I forgot the combination code for the luggage, but later managed to get it.

According to my itinerary, the bus was to come at 11:30am.  I was packed and ready to go by 10:30am and no call yet, so I walked out of my room to waste an hour.  When I stepped out, I was spotted by the hotel staff, who ran to me and asked me where I was going, I told him “Vavouto” and he said that the bus had already left!  So he called the bus back while I checked out.  Fortunately, the bus had not gone too far and was back very quickly.  The bus had left an hour early and they did not call me!

When I stepped into the bus, everyone turned around and gave me bad stares, as if I had done something wrong, when in fact, I was an hour early Smile  Later, I talked to a colleague and he said that his itinerary had also said 11:30am!

I got back to site at 2:30pm, went back to my room, unpacked, settled and then back at my office at 3:30pm.

So glad that the first week is over, 4 more weeks to go!

April 4th–Seoul International Photo & Imaging Industry Show

Thursday.  A day I had been anticipating.  We were going to Photo and Imaging show.  We didn’t know about it early enough to register for free tickets, and missed the closing date for half price tickets, but fortunately, when we arrived at COEX, there was a man selling half price tickets Smile


We walked around COEX at first before having lunch  COEX was so quiet and empty with many of the shops closed due to renovation.  I remember it being so crowded and busy before!


Went into the photo show.  Many booths with lots of gear to play with.  Many people with big cameras shooting models.  This is what it was like:

Tamron – I’ve never owned a Tamron lens.


Sony had it’s own stage with musical.



Canon had a very large area as well.000025

There was a man-model for the Canon Powershot N which I got to play with (I played with the camera, not the model).


He also did pose for me.


It’s a really cute camera.  Square in shape, white in colour, flip out touch screen, zoom.  Very pocketable.  The flip out screen would let you shoot at waist level and you can trigger by pressing on the ring at the top of the lens.

Every current Canon camera model on display to play with!  Got to try the super telephoto lenses, image stabilised binoculars, their flagship DSLR the 1DX, the tiny entry level 100D, and their video camera.


and more model shooting…


Nikon man shooting Canon woman!


The ladder gang was also there in full force (people who walk around with step-ladders so that they can get a better view).


More guys with cameras shooting models!



Played with the Samsung Galaxy camera, and NX line of cameras, one of which had a 85mm f/1.4 on it.  I miss shooting telephoto, and started missing my 85mm f/1.2.


Julie was very happy, because we got free Starbucks coffee coupons when we got our entry passes, and then more free coffee at the Instax stand, after they take a free photograph of you which you send home as a postcard.  They had a very vintage-travel theme, with a Cath Kidston edition Instax camera.


There were other concurrent shows which we saw: Smart accessory show (smart phone gadgets), new media wave (video), Seoul photo (photo exhibition).  At the smart accessory show, I bought a new screen protector for my phone.  At the video-show, there was a cool demo with a line of cameras which were simultaneously triggered around jump shots.


As much as I love camera gear, after a few hours, I really had gear overload.  Enough of looking at cameras!

I enjoy looking at camera gear, and I enjoy taking photographs of friends, places I go, things I do, and we all take photographs of different things for different reasons/interests.  I don’t quite fully understand the meaning of shooting a model.  Actually, I don’t understand at all.  Yes, maybe it is a pretty lady, and you can test how sharp your lens is, until you can see her pores and facial hair, and then look at how good your bokeh is.  Do model shooters print out photos of the models and put them on their walls at home?  People who are pleasant to the eye, but have no relation?  Perhaps the same thing could be said about landscapes, other people might also have a difficult time understanding why we enjoy landscapes, or photos of places, activities, and friends – things that have personal relation and meaning.  There’s nothing wrong with what people are interested in, and what they enjoy taking photographs of, again, it’s just a different perspective, different interest, as we take photographs of things that interest us, or things that have personal significance to us.  The same thing could be said about what I take photographs.  Why do I do it? I enjoy it, but why?  I like keeping a record of things, snapshots at this point in time.  I like to see how things were, and these things are what is recorded now.  Also, I like to share these photographs with you.

We went for a walk around outside.


Then went into a cafe at COEX to charge Julie’s phone before heading to Yeouido, walking around the park and then meeting Julie’s sister for dinner.



We had fresh Korean beef (한우) for dinner.  So good! So good! The taste is so good.  The meat so tender!  So good! I really loved it! So good!








Then finished with a cold soup.


I miss the taste right now while I’m writing this!

지니누나! 감사합니다!!!!

April 3rd–Wedding Studio

Had a booking at studio for some Wedding photos.  We got to the area early, so had lunch first.



When we go to the studio, I had to wait while Julie had her makeup and hair done.  Fortunately, I had my ipod and phone with me.  So I could listen to music, read, and play games.  About 45 minutes later, it was my turn! Felt so funny having makeup put on… I guess I need it.





The people there were very friendly.  The photographer was very gentle and knew exactly how we should pose (I think standard poses that he gets everyone to do, but it works!).  The studio had a number of different settings and a lighting panel full of fluorescent lights.  He showed us some photographs at the back of his 5dII after he had shot them, they looked good straight out!

We were sent the digital files and should get the album in a few months, when we go to collect it.  Thank you to the studio! Smile

04 copy

After photos, went to Shinsegae department store and walked around, look at the food, had some hotteok (not as oily this time!), and then looked at shoes and bags.  We ended up each buying a pair of shoes.


Went back and had pork belly (삼겹살) barbeque and rice wine (막걸리) to drink.


Saw a car outside that looks like ours in New Caledonia.


Here’s our car on the first outing.


April 2nd – South Korea

It was a rainy day.  Planned to go to Changdeokgung palace, as last time, I didn’t go inside.  On the way there, stopped by Film09 and bought a roll of Portra 400.  We planned to go to the secret garden tour which was at 1:30pm, so went for a walk around first.


We had lunch – andong son kalgugsu (안동 손 칼국수), jeon (전) and like usual, sidedishes (반찬) such as kimchi (김치) etc.





After eating, we looked outside and saw that it was still cold, windy and drizzling.  So decided that we would not go to the palace, but next time, when I come to Korea again.  (I ended up going to the palace on Friday!  I’ll write about this later)

After lunch, stopped by Starbucks for a drink.  I had a soy green tea latte, while Julie had her usual black coffee (Americano).  This Starbucks only had one toilet for males, and one toilet for females, so the female toilet queue was long.


Walked to Namsangol (남산굴) traditional garden, saw the garden and many Chinese tourists and the time capsule.







Julie demonstrated how to carry things.


Then we went to the outside of Korea House (한국의집), but there was no wedding there this time.  Last time we were there in December 2011, there was a wedding and we went to have a look Smile



Then we went to Sinsadong, looked around at the shops and saw a crowd gathering around.  It was a shoe-parade with famous people sitting in the front row Smile


We walked to Gangnam and were feeling hungry, so had some bread and dirnks at Paris Baguette.



Then walked around Gangnam until dinner time.


We met with Julie’s friends for dinner.  We had pigs trotters (적발).




On the way home, needed to go to a toilet, so stopped by a cafe.  Then took photos at the media-pole outside.